1975 title & Colin Stein
Kenny Miller's five-timer
Fergie's Clubs
Hearts in the 30s
Cup Final Brothers
Greenock Juniors Update
Home-grown Heroes
Half-a-Cap Ritchie
Scotland's first substitute
Teen Cup Final Scorer



Q B Fitzpatrick asks about goalscorers: “We know that Paul Sturrock and Marco Negri have both scored 5 goals in a league match in Scotlands top division. I was wondering if Kenny Miller ever achieved the same feat (in a league match only)?”

A Yes, he did, against St Mirren at Ibrox on Nov 4th 2000. The game finished 7-1 to Rangers and Miller scored four in the first 31 minutes, adding a fifth with thirteen minutes remaining.

Amazingly, that one game represents 62.5% of his League tally of eight for the Ibrox club in the 18 months he spent there. But with only 12 league starts and 18 substitute outings, Miller was never really given a chance by Dick Advocaat to establish himself.

Q John Scott wants to know: “Did Sir Alex Ferguson ever play for Dundee United?”

A No. Fergie’s clubs were Drumchapel Amateurs, Queen’s Park, St Johnstone, Dunfermline, Rangers, Falkirk and Ayr United.

Ferguson’s playing career has been much-maligned in the media but only 23 players have scored more League goals in post-war top-flight Scottish football. He scored 218 in all competitions, 172 in the League and 134 of these were in the top division.

That’s more top flight goals than many recognised top strikers such as Ralph Brand, Derek Johnstone, Andy Kerr, Frank McGarvey, Kenny Cameron and Charlie Nicholas for instance.

Q From Graham King: “Was there a goalkeeper who played for Hearts in the thirties called Billy Liddle, and, if so, how many games did he play ?”

A No player called Billy Liddle (or any variant of the spelling) played in any League games for Hearts between 1929-1939. Nor does his name figure on the estimable London Hearts website.

Q A Cup Final conundrum from Jon West: “If John Sutton had played for Millwall in the FA Cup Final while brother Chris played for Celtic in the Scottish Cup Final would they have been the first brothers to play in simultaneous cup finals?”

A As far as the UK is concerned I think it would have been a first, especially as it’s only recently that both finals have been played on the same day.

Brotherly involvement in Finals goes back a century. In 1904 Willie Maley managed Celtic to victory in Scotland while brother Tom led Bolton to the runners-up spot south of the border.
But those Finals weren’t played on the same day.

Ronnie Ahlfeld tells us that the Greenock Juniors game we mentioned here was an all-ticket affair which drew 8,200 in total and ended up a draw with Greenock winning the replay at Johnstone Burgh’s Keanie Park.

Ronnie also tells us that in the first semi-final against Ardeer Thistle at Firhill that Greenock were 3-0 down with fifteen minutes to play yet managed to gain a draw before going on to win the replay.

Always happy to update and add to our information, so thanks Ronnie.

Q Robert Houston is back with another query: " Who were the last team to win the Scottish Cup with a home grown team?"

A If by home-grown you mean Scots-born then these were the gentlemen in question who won the Scottish Cup for St Mirren in 1987:

Money, Wilson, Winnie, Cooper, D Hamilton, B Hamilton, Abercromby, Lambert (Fitzpatrick), I Ferguson, McDowall (Cameron), McGarvey.

Q Jamie Baird picks up on a recent question about Rangers keepers and asks: " I seem to remember an article in one of the football annuals at the time which described Billy Ritchie as "Half a Cap" Ritchie as his only appearance for Scotland was as a substitute. Looking at the dates he played I now have doubts as to whether that would have been the case as I didn't think subs were allowed in internationals until a bit later (viz. Wembley 1967 when Jack Charlton was injured but had to stay on the park). Can you clear up why Ritchie was given that name, albeit only as the title of an article in a book?"

A His only appearance for Scotland was as a substitute at half-time against Uruguay in 1962. While it’s true that this was before substitutes were allowed in International Championship, World Cup or European matches, this was a friendly game
Scotland had played several matches where the opposition used substitutes but didn’t use one themselves until 1960 when Alex Young replaced an injured Denis Law against Austria in Vienna.

Q Which, by sheer coincidence leads us on to Alan Horsley's question: "Who was the first substitute used by the Scotland national football team?"

A The answer of course being Alex Young, as above.

Q J Bonner asks; "Who was the last teenager to score for Celtic in a Scottish Cup Final?"

A It was the wunderkind himself, Paul McStay, who was 19 when he scored in the 2-1 defeat by Aberdeen in 1984.

From great games to the game's greats. If you have a query concerning Scottish football, this is the place to send it to. We'll answer as many as we can but regret that we cannot respond individually to requests. So bookmark this site and look in regularly as questions and answers are frequently updated.

Q Why SFAQs? What does that mean?

A FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) can be found on many websites, mostly relating to technical matters and SFA stands for (amongst other things) Scottish Football Association. So a neat amalgamation of acronyms gives us SFAQs which means Scottish Football Answers (to) Questions.




For old SFAQs click here


Q Graham McEwan recalls the last title-decider before reconstruction: "What were the teams for the Hibs v Rangers game on March 29th 1975. I know the game ended 1-1 giving Rangers the title, thus ending Celtic's bid for 10 in a row and I think the great Colin Stein scored that day. Also any info on the man himself, Colin Stein?"

A The Hibs team was: McArthur, Brownlie, Barry, Stanton, Schaedler, Bremner, Smith, Munro, McLeod, Harper, Duncan

Rangers lined up: Kennedy, Jardine (Greig), Jackson, Forsyth, Miller, McKean, MacDonald, Johnstone, McLean, Stein, Parlane

You're right about the details of what was a quite dramatic match. Before the kick-off Rangers were on 50 points with five to play. Hibs were on 41 and Celtic 40 so a draw was good enough to win the title.

Hibs scored first through McLeod, Jardine missed a penalty, Stein equalised - his first goal since returning from Coventry - and John Greig - who was injured - came on with seconds to play in order to be skipper on the field when the flag was won.

The match was watched by a crowd of 38,565 and Greig was the only survivor from the last Rangers title-winners in 1964.

Colin Stein was one of the great personalities of his day. Born in Philipstoun, West Lothian, he made his way to Hibernian via school football in Linlithgow, Broxburn Strollers and Armadale Thistle and made his first-team debut aged 18. He'd already scored over 50 goals in first-class football by the time he joined Rangers at the end of October 1968, aged 21. His was a sensational transfer - the first £100,000 figure between Scottish clubs.

And Stein's impact at Ibrox was immediate. He hit a hat-trick on his debut in a 5-1 win at Arbroath, scored another treble against his old team-mates Hibs a week later at Ibrox then banged in two more at Dundalk in a Fairs Cup tie!

Stein had a temper as fiery as his shooting and he was sent off on a number of occasions. This writer recalls a match at Rugby Park in January 1969 when Stein clashed with the diminutive Tommy McLean, only for wee Tam's Killie team-mate Billy Dickson to come to his rescue.

Dickson and Stein both slugged it out toe-to-toe before both were sent off. Stein received a six-week ban but because of postponements missed just one game - this was instrumental in the authorities changing suspensions from time periods to match bans.

The highlight of his Rangers career was undoubtedly the Cup-Winners Cup Final in Barcelona in 1972 when he scored the opening goal in the 3-2 win over Moscow Dynamo.

Colin Stein scores against Celtic

After almost four eventful years at Ibrox, Stein was transferred to Coventry City in October 1972. His time there was quieter but not unsuccessful - he turned out in over 80 League games and scored more than 20 goals before returning to Rangers in March 1975, just two weeks before he scored the title-winning goal on his old Easter Road stamping ground. His return had little to do with Stein. Coventry could no longer keep up payments due on his transfer and had no option but to let him go.

However, the two Dereks - Johnstone and Parlane - were in possession of the striking roles for Rangers and Stein found first team chances few and far between.

In 1977-78 tragedy struck when Kilmarnock's striker Ian Fallis was killed in a road accident. Stein, languishing in the reserves, was sent out on loan to Rugby Park. With Killie in the 1st Division, it was the first time in his career that Stein had played outwith the top flight

He played in the team that knocked Celtic out of the Scottish Cup and ironically the last time he started a match was at Ibrox in a 4-1 Scottish Cup quarter-final defeat in March 1978. Two weeks later Colin Stein made his final appearance in Scottish football when he came on as a substitute at Arbroath. There were to be no hat-trick fireworks this time and his last game ended with Killie losing 1-0.

Stein was given a free transfer by Rangers at the end of the season but although there were plenty of clubs willing to make him an offer he decided to retire just before his 31st birthday.

Colin Stein was a throwback to the days of the old-fashioned centre-forward. Strong, courageous and aggressive, he was a player who gave his all. Perhaps he made the decision to retire so soon, knowing he would never be able to repeat his earlier successes and three years in the reserves must have had a dispiriting effect.

He was from one of those footballing families small Scottish communities seem to so often throw up. His brother Eric was a Youth international and another brother, Bobby, played with distinction for Raith, Montrose and East Stirling.

By the time of his retirement Colin had scored 112 league goals in Scotland in 221 outings - just over a goal every two games. And all bar eight of those strikes were in the top league. He scored another 50 in domestic first class and European games. Add in another 28 goals with Coventry and you can see he was quite a prolific scorer.

According to the record books, Stein made his Scotland debut as a Rangers player. Yet when he turned out in a friendly in the Idraetsparken in Copenhagen on October 16th 1968 he was actually still with Hibs.

He was certainly a fully-fledged Ranger when he made his next international appearance, scoring twice in Cyprus in a 5-0 World Cup qualifying victory.

He played in all three home internationals in 1969 and scored in every game but it was his next outing - his sixth cap - which saw Stein shoot himself into the record books. Against Cyprus in the return qualifier at Hampden he scored four times in an 8-0 rout. It was the most any Scot had scored in a World Cup tie and - 35 years later - it remains the last time a Scotland player scored a hat-trick!

Colin scored in Scotland's next match - a 1-1 draw against Ireland in Dublin - to take his tally to ten in seven games.

But although he went on to play for his country on a further fourteen occasions he never again found the net.

In the end Colin Stein's was a colourful and incident-filled career. But like so many of his Rangers contemporaries, Celtic's dominance under another Stein ensured that he finished his playing days with a trophy cabinet nowhere near as full as might have been expected.